vSphere: Create a Distributed Switch

In VMware ESX 3.x you had to make sure that is you have a cluster every host has the same network configuration with the same port group names. Whit a couple of host this isn’t that hard, but what if you have a 16 node cluster, or more? Making a change to the network configuration could take some time.

With vSphere you have the ability to maken a switch that is automaticly distributed acorse all attached hosts. This is called a Distributed Switchs (dvSwitch).

So, how do we created a Distributed Switch?

  • In vCenter goto Home and under Inventory select Networking
  • Right click the Datacenter object en select New Distributed Switch. The following screen is displayed

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  • Give the dvSwitch a name and select the number of dvUplinks . A dvUplink is later connected to one or more physical nic’s in the host.

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  • Here you can select the hosts you want the vdSwitch on. When you select a host, you can also select the physical nic for the dvUplink. Just put a mark before it.
    You can also do this later bij clicking on Add Later.

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  • If you click finish a default port group is created. I like to create my own port group so I deselect Automatically create a default port group

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  • Wait a few seconds before the dvSwitch is created and is distributed to all the hosts. You can check this to look at your recent tasks
  • When the dvSwitch is ready click on the name of the dvSwitch you just created. In the command section you can select New Port Group.

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  • Give the name for this dvPortGroup (In my case dvPortGroup-Demo) and the numbers of ports for this portgroup and if you want VLAN’s.

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  • Select finish to let the dvPortGroup be created

The only thing we have to do is to migrated the excisting Virtual Machines that are connected to a ‘normal’  port group to the newly dvPortGroup.

  • In vCenter select the dvSwitch and in the commands field select Migrate Virtual Machine Networking

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  • Select the source Network (the ‘normal’ port group) and destination Network (the dvPortGroup) and click on Show Virtual Machines.
  • The Virtual Machines connected to the source Network are displayed in de bottom field. Here you can select the Virtual Machines who you wanne migrated to the new dvSwitch

So what if I want to add for example the VMkernel or Service Console portgroup to it? Ok, here we go.

  • First, you can only do this at host level. Every host will have it’s own ip adres for a VMKernel or a Service Console.  Go to the VMware host | Configuration | Distributed Virtual Switches and click on Manage Virtual Adapters

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  • Click Add to launch the Add Virtual Adapter

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  • Now we have to choose if we want to migrate existing virtual adapters or if we want to add a new virtual adapter. In my case, I choose to migrate.

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  • Select the port group you want to migrate and to witch dvPortGroup you want to migrate it to.

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  • You will a summary and when you click finish the port group will be migrated

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Of course you will have to repeat this step on all the other hosts.
As you can see, it isn’t hard to create a dvSwitch with dvPortGroups.  I find it a great step forwards and a great new feature of vSphere.

About Michael
Michael Wilmsen is a VMware training/consultant (no specific order) with more than 15 years in the IT industry. Main focus is VMware vSphere, Horizon View and Site Recovery Manager with a deepdive to performance. Michael is VCDX 210, VCAP 4/5 certified, has been rewarded with the vExpert title from 2011, is a PernixPro, Nutanix Tech Champion and a Nutanix Platform Professional.

2 Comments to “vSphere: Create a Distributed Switch”

  1. By Tony, March 25, 2010 @ 13:30

    Nice wizard and declaration. Thanks

  2. By Tony, March 25, 2010 @ 13:30

    Nice wizard and declaration. Thanks

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